Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Olivia!

We are happy to introduce the newest member of our family....
OLIVIA FAITH
born on 10/30/2010
at 2:51 p.m.
7 lbs. 12 oz.
19 in. long

And, now....
We're a family of FIVE!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sneak Peak

On Thursday Allie got to attend her much anticipated preschool Halloween party. While most of her little girl friends at preschool dressed up as princesses, queens, fairies, brides, or butterflies, Allie was insistent upon dressing up as Jesse the Cowgirl from Toy Story.

Zach and I got to stay for part of the morning to see her class' Halloween parade and song program. Allie was officially the only one dressed up as Jesse (complete with red hair...she was fairly adamant about the need for red hair...unfortunately, the only thing I could find was an Ariel wig, but it seemed to work!) in her class.
Both Allie and Zach are already incredibly excited about Trick-or-Treating on Sunday!
Any guesses to what Zach is going dressed as?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Just Checking In...

...to let everyone know that I am indeed still pregnant.
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Despite having every single pre-labor symptom in the book (for the past week), yes, I am still pregnant.
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And, since I am exhausted and pretty much feel like crud all the time, I will spare providing you with any additional commentary...because who really wants to sit around and read a preggo's list full of complaints?
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I have never felt more like a ticking time bomb in my entire life.
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Hopefully my next post will be a bit more exciting....

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's Thursday and...

Here I am...in my own house....eating breakfast alone...in absolute peace and quiet...and although nice, it is actually kind of weird. I'm so used to the morning commotion, the requests for milk and Frosted Mini Wheats, directing kids to put on pants and shirts and socks, advising them to keep their hands and legs to themselves while also suggesting that it might be a good idea to keep the singing to a minimum at such an early hour. I know for a fact that all I have to do this morning is sit here and relax, but my body feels a bit on edge because in the back recesses of my mind, there is a certainty that at any moment all the usual hubbub will ensue and it will be game on for this momma.
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It's actually kind of a long story as to how I came about having no kids on this lovely, sunny, Fall Thursday morning. But, suffice it to say, I'm a tad bit embarrassed by the whole ordeal and was even hesitant to bring it up. Anyway, for inquiring minds (dying to know), let me just inform you that it is entirely possible to have over 12 hours of painful, consistent labor contractions that land you at the doctor's office whereupon you are sent to the hospital. After the administration of a miracle drug known as IV fluids at said hospital, it is entirely possible that all painful contractions completely come to a halt and you are dumbfounded as you come to the realization that even though this is your THIRD pregnancy, apparently you still cannot recognize the difference between false and real labor.
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Anyway, I'm sure some day we will all look back at this and laugh, but I'm not quite there yet.
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On the positive side of things, I did get some ice cream out of the whole ordeal and I didn't even feel guilty about eating it because I have gained absolutely no weight throughout the third trimester of this pregnancy. And, no, I'm not going to tell you how much I have gained over the first two trimesters because that would just nullify the success I feel over gaining nothing over these past 6-8 weeks.
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In other news, Allie informed me this week that she has super power abilities. Well, not quite in those terms, but she did let me know that the reason God gave her two ears is so that she has one to listen to me talk while she can use the other (simultaneously) to listen to herself talk. When I told her nicely that I didn't think it worked quite like that, she insisted I was misinformed. So, I gave up the argument and succumbed to my own laughter because who am I to get in the way of a budding super hero?
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Zach, the 3-year old who still insists that he is unable to pull his own pants up each morning, has proclaimed that when he grows up he wants to be a doctor so he can help sick people...or a space man so he can fly in a rocket. When asked how he was going to learn how to do those things, he responded that mommy was going to teach him. I'm glad he has such a high opinion of me, but I hope he is not too terribly disappointed when he discovers my abilities do not quite cover the realm of medicine and aeronautics. But, I think I'll remind him when he's a tad bit older and insists that I'm an idiot that at one time he did think of me as a genius.
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Well, for now, this genius who can't even tell when she's in labor or not, is going to take a nice, long, hot shower without having to listen to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in the background and enjoy the rest of the peaceful morning before the kiddoes return.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

MN Zoo

Today we took advantage of the beautiful fall weather and spent the day at the MN Zoo. Since we had no previous plans for the day, we asked the kids at breakfast this morning what they thought we should do and it was Allie's suggestion to head out to the zoo.
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I haven't been to the MN Zoo with the kids since this past spring and it has been quite some time since Ben has been there with us. So, we were all pleasantly surprised at all the changes/updates to the different exhibits that are either done or underway.
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This also marked the first time we were able to do the entire zoo minus a stroller and diaper bag (and yes, I do realize that it also probably marks the last time we will do the zoo minus the stroller and diaper bag for quite some time!). Although we brought the kids' wagon for the longer walks through the outside portion of the zoo, Allie and Zach did most of the walking through the inside portions all on their own. Let it be known that Zach was not all that entirely happy about the walking portion of the zoo and spent a fair amount of time on Ben's shoulders. Zach proclaimed his favorite animal to be the lions...which at first puzzled us because there actually aren't any lions (seriously, don't ask...I'm still trying to come to terms with the fact that we have a state zoo that does not have lions or giraffes). Anyway, we think that he was either referring to the tigers or the leopards we saw.
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Allie's favorite part was seeing the baby dolphin who was born this past summer. Although she is not yet on exhibit, we were able to see her swimming with her mom and grandma in the dolphin arena.
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After seeing all the animals and spending time playing at the outdoor playground...
it was time for some afternoon treats. And, since it was in the glorious 60's today, both kids requested ice cream.

Just for the record, Allie ate that entire pink ice cream cone all by herself.

I'm fairly certain most all of Zach's blue ice cream cone ended up on his face. Well, at least the parts that Daddy didn't help eat.
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We all had a great time and three of the four of us fell fast asleep on the ride home. And now, we are finishing our fun family day with another suggestion of Allie's: family movie night with the new Tinkerbelle movie.
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And, for those of you wondering, the massive amount of walking I did today only resulted in extreme fatigue, tons of annoying contractions, and swollen hands and ankles the likes that have not yet been seen this pregnancy. Apparently, Olivia is perfectly content right where she is for the time being. :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Nesting?!

We've had one very busy past week, leaving me pretty exhausted in the evenings with not much interest in blogging. The funny thing is that the initial cause of our busy-ness was nothing more than my instantaneous, sudden need to fill our freezer with pre-made meals for after Olivia arrives. Seriously, I went to bed last Tuesday night and woke up for my first potty break panicking about the fact that we had no freezer meals. So, after a little freezer meal recipe research and a marathon trip to the grocery store, I literally spent two whole days last week in the kitchen making a total of eight meals for our freezer. I double-cooked a lot of the recipes, so for the past three days I have spent NO time cooking at all...which was definitely a well-deserved and needed break.
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The crazy-ness continued this weekend as I enlisted everyone's help to majorly clean the house--inside and out. We also finally took Olivia's new car seat out of the box and made sure we knew how to set it up. I also proceeded to wash all the covers for the bouncy seat, swing, and car seat bundle-me. Then, I felt compelled to ensure that my bags were completely packed and proceeded to make a list of last minute items that would need to be grabbed on our way out (ie-camera, laptop, extra clothes--because I honestly don't have enough clothes to keep an extra set in a suit case and not in my wardrobe rotation). Now, I've been worried that maybe I should start packing the kids' bags for grandma's too...but, have so far held off on doing that.
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Oh, and by the way, our family mini-van decided to bite the dust this past week, leaving us down to one vehicle. Thankfully, although the transmission was beginning to go, we caught it soon enough that the cost of repair was far less than originally anticipated and there wasn't any "terminal damage" (as the mechanic put it) done. Thankfully, we are bringing our fully repaired van home tonight and I believe it may only be a matter of time before Olivia's car seat is officially installed.
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So, the above account of our week's activities begs the question: Nesting or Insanity? Is Olivia really coming sooner than expected or am I just that much of a type-A planner/panicker that I feel compelled to get everything ready far sooner than the typical person?
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I was leaning more toward the latter until my OB appointment today where I discovered that all of the annoying contractions I've been experiencing over the last 2.5-3 weeks have actually resulted in some real progress and that my constant need to pee every five seconds is due to the fact that Olivia's head has officially dropped into position.
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I'm sure there is still a fair amount of insanity that comes into play with my recent preparations, but I'm sincerely hoping that maybe, just maybe, Olivia will be coming sooner rather than later. However, with my past pregnancy history (Allie: born 5 days late, Zach: born smack dab on his due date) and luck, I could very well be pregnant for another month. However, for now, I'm choosing not to think about that possibility.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Birthday CAKE!

After dinner at our favorite pizza restaurant with Grandma and Grandpa, it was time to come home and enjoy some birthday cake!

Even though he enjoyed a free birthday chocolate fudge sundae (complete with whip cream--Zach's favorite part) and was the recipient of an Elvis-style "Happy Birthday" song courtesy of one of the waiter's at the pizza restaurant, Zach's sweet tooth prevailed and he couldn't wait to dig into his cake.

However, he did indulge us by waiting patiently while we sang "Happy Birthday" before blowing out his candles.

And, then it was time to dig in! Zach's favorite part of his cake? The frosting. Can you tell?
Everyone, including the birthday boy, approved of the cake. And, all children of the household experienced an intense sugar-high for the remainder of the evening.

Zach's Birthday Party

The Toy Story party decorations were in place:The presents were wrapped:And one particular three-year-old was excited for his birthday party to begin!First, he wasted no time opening his presents: Actually, after the first two, he was ready to be done and just wanted to open the toys and play with them. So, Allie made sure to help him finish the job: And, a hard job it was: After opening race cars, dinosaurs, and books, Zach's greatest birthday wish was granted: He is now the proud owner of his very own set of wings...which he observed in action, firsthand, in front of the bathroom mirror:

We did, however, have to remind him that he could not actually fly with his new wings:
So, in between racing his cars:He's been racing around the house in his wings: And, seriously, what more could a little boy ask for than wings and race cars?Well, birthday cake - of course!
(to be continued...)

Happy Birthday Zach!

Today my baby boy turns THREE...which means that he is pretty much not a baby anymore (a fact that he reminds me of daily)! I can hardly believe how quickly the past three years have gone by. It seems like just yesterday we were marveling at each of his new words and celebrating his new found ability to toddle slowly around the house...and today we can barely get him to stop talking long enough to get a word in edge wise and are constantly reminding him to walk, not run, around the house.
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Although we had his official birthday party this past Saturday (blog posts with pictures to be coming soon), we decided to make today special for him by a family birthday pancake breakfast at IHOP.
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Of course, that was only after the obligatory birthday morning pictures. Here is Zach's first awake moments as an official 3-year-old:
Zach is definitely NOT a morning person. He much prefers to lounge around in bed with his pajamas on and is never in a hurry to get anywhere or do anything in the morning. Thankfully the promise of pancakes was enough to get him out of bed this morning.
Allie and Daddy were pretty excited about birthday pancakes too!

Zach couldn't wait to dig in!
After breakfast, Daddy had to go to work and we had to drop Allie off at preschool. Then, Zach and I headed home where we had a "special" birthday surprise waiting: a Buzz Lightyear and Woody matchbox car! He had fun playing with his new cars until it was time to head to ECFE where he shared a special birthday cookie treat with his friends and even enjoyed having "Happy Birthday" sung to him. It was so fun to overhear him tell all the teachers that today was his birthday and listen in to his conversations with them about being three.
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Happy Third Birthday, Zach! We love you and are so happy that you are a part of our family!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I Finally Went to Target

As a follow-up to my previous post (and just in case you may still be wondering), I was able to locate a pair of old work-out pants that actually fit around my ballooning belly so the kids and I were able to take a trip to Target on Friday afternoon to purchase HE laundry detergent without my having to resort to wearing pajama pants.
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In my defense, the reason I ended up with the wrong detergent in the first place is that apparently the Target I frequent doesn't see the point in stocking the HE type of detergents and regular detergents separately. They do an adequate job of separation for some of the brands, but apparently not for the particular brand I purchase. While I was looking, to my horror, I noticed the HE types and regular types of my preferred brand were completely co-mingled. Not cool. At all. I'm pretty sure I checked and re-checked at least 10 times for fear I would end up at home with the wrong detergent again.
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So anyway, after ensuring I had indeed chosen the correct laundry detergent, the kids and I decided to take a tour of the toys because I was trying desperately to kill some time because I knew Ben was going to be home late from work. On the way to the toys, we walked past the intimates section which sparked the following conversation between my two children:
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Allie: Oh! Look at all the beautiful bras!

Zach: I need a bra.

Allie: NO! Boys do not wear bras. Bras are only for girls.

Zach: Boys can wear bras too! I need a boy one. In blue. My favorite color.

Allie: Zach, the reason boys do not wear bras is because they do not have big chestes (I believe the word 'chestes' is actually the plural form of chest).

Zach: Yes they do! Boys have big, strong chestes!

Allie: No, Zach. That is not how God made boys. Boys' chestes do not grow. God made girls' chestes to grow...bigger and bigger...and then they need bras to hold them in.

Zach: Oh.

Allie: Like, when I'm 6 or 7, my chestes is going to grow and then I will need a bra. (At this point, I did interject to inform Allie that she will probably be older than 6 or 7 before that happens).
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Then we were thankfully past the bra aisle and the conversation ended. And, I'm fairly certain the three women we passed while on our way to the toys that overheard the conversation were holding back laughter.

Friday, October 1, 2010

My Week in Facebook Status Updates

So, lately I feel like it has become a lot easier for me to come up with short Facebook status updates rather than an entire coherent blog post. And, since I'm obviously in need of blog post ideas, I thought I might share what some of those updates would have been if I was actually motivated enough to publish them as my status throughout this past week. Here goes:

Jennifer Richardson Dzioba...

would prefer to clean the house when it is gloomy and cloudy out as opposed to bright and sunny...there is something about the sun shining through the windows, illuminating every single speck of dust, smudge, and fingerprint on every single surface of her home that makes it feel like she could clean all day long and accomplish close to nothing.

would like to make applesauce with all those apples taking up residence in her refrigerator's fruit drawer, but has no motivation to peel, core, and cut them all up.

's son is convinced that he will one day be able to fly...as soon as he can acquire a rocket or a pair of some wings.

is experiencing a crisis of major proportions...the washing machine is broken and the only two pairs of pants that fit her right now are dirty.

is convinced Yankee Candle Company has put something in their candles that causes them to disappear far too quickly...either that or there is a major candle burning addiction in the works at her house.

's husband just informed her that the reason the washing machine is not working is because she has been using the wrong type of soap. Apparently, HE machines and regular laundry detergent produce massive amounts of bubbles that must be personally scooped out and removed.

's daughter just informed her that it is good that we have two potty seats (an adult one and a kid one) because her mom's butt is pretty big. Thanks.

would like to announce that, for the record, her husband was present during the shopping trip that the non-HE laundry soap was purchased and he did not object.

is excited about her new cell phone that now also keeps her calendar and sends/receives e-mail. Her husband is most excited about the GPS feature so that his wife will stop calling him at work to ask for directions when she is lost.

is glad that the people from House Hunters aren't considering purchasing her home because if they think the kitchen and bathroom they just looked at needs updating, then I don't want to know what they think of mine.

's son's nose is sick today and she has now become "Bob" as opposed to "Mom."

's husband had a great day at work, so we made him Rice Krispie Treats in celebration. Unfortunately, she discovered her biggest bowl is not big enough to contain and mix a double batch of Rice Krispie Treats and half the cereal ended up on the kitchen floor.

thinks this is probably TMI for a status update, but must share that her son now officially names his bowel movements after members of her family. For instance, last night, after a very small turd and a more moderate sized one, he proclaimed he just had a "Mommy Poopy and a Baby Olivia Poopy."

and the kids are having a stay-at-home pajama day today...mostly because she still hasn't purchased new laundry soap due to the fact that she has no pants to wear to the store.